By Funmi Ogundare
The Director of Media Relations, National Institute of Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mr. Ohi Ojo has stressed the need for value reorientation in the country so that the youths can better appreciate their culture.
Ojo, who made this known recently while briefing journalists on the institute’s plan to organise a virtual training for government officials, policy makers, legislators at all levels, cultural officers at the state, federal and local levels, among others, said the country cannot afford to throw away its culture, but should continue to speak to the youths about it.
According to him, “we need to do a value orientatation. We can impart that in the youths who are coming up and have a negative mindset about our culture. You know that culture is not archaic, but a complete way of life. Once they understand that, they will appreciate our culture. Culture is not stagnant, but evolves.
“For instance, people talk about aso-ebi which started from Yoruba land and kolanut is celebrated in the eastern part of the country. These are values that we can’t just throw away. So there is need for value reorieintatation. Communal living is also part of our culture.”
Asked how Nigerian parents abroad can help their children to imbibe the culture and understand the country’s values, Ojo said: “The first place to learn anything is the home. The home is the family, you have culture of law and peer group. The parents must teach them their ways of life. UNESCO said a child can learn five diffrerent languages if spoken to at the same time as a child from the home. When parents put their hearts down, then they can learn their culture from home.”
Explaining the virtual training for government officials, the director said the institute will focus on repositioning Nigerian cultural workers for improved productivity, cultural apreciation and value re-orientation, digital marketing of Nigeria’s cultural products.
Other programmes include seminar for local governments management staff on culture and the transformation of the Nigerian financial sector, workshop on effective cultural administration; and culture entertainment and wealth creation, as well as a national workshop on repositioning of Nigerian workers for improved productivity.